Whether the course was a difficult subject or an easy subject, failing a course can be devastating. At the same time, the course you might have to repeat might even lead you to the feeling of embarrassment. The reasons for embarrassment could vary, but whatever you do, do not let it get to you.
Let me be brutally honest. I am a student who has failed a course in College Algebra. Yes, COLLEGE ALGEBRA. I have my reasons for it but what matters most in this kind of situation is to acknowledge it, try harder next time, and avoid feeling embarrassed. If you have “friends” or acquaintances who tease you about it or make you feel stupid, it’s time to dump them and make new supportive friends. There is no reason why you should feel embarrassed about failing a course. Even if you may have failed it more than two times, that’s still fine. All you need to do is figure out a way to tackle it the third, fourth, or seventh time around.
- First Thing First, get rid of that negative attitude and the feeling of embarrassment. Failing a course will happen at least once in your life. If that hasn’t happened to you, good job but don’t let it boost your ego and try to support others who have a harder time. If you have failed a course before, don’t let it upset you too much. Failing a course can happen to anyone. You might think to yourself, “but I’m taking an easy class that isn’t so easy for me so I must be dumb.” No. Taking an “easier” class does not make you dumb. Everyone learns at a different pace and with different styles. Education systems are different in places like the United States vs. Asia vs. Europe, etc. Also, some students might not have had the opportunity to learn certain things due to medical issues or other various issues. It’s different for everyone and everyone should learn to respect each other and help each other improve in certain areas. So, get rid of the negative attitude and the negative environment! Instead, be more motivated and determined to do well the second time around.
- It’s time to retake the course and tackle it differently. There are many different ways to study for an exam but it is your responsibility to find a method that helps you understand the topic better than other methods. Once you figure that out, work harder, review your notes as much as you can, and practice your problems until you are able to do it without looking back at your notes! Also, seek help from your professors, teaching assistant, or peers! Perhaps they are intimidating to approach, but they are your best bet in terms of helping you understand the topic – especially when they are the ones creating the exams.
- Results. So, you’ve taken your first or second exam. You received a 80%, which is good but never ever settle for less. Once you receive your exam after it has been graded, take the time to look over the problems. Try solving the problems again and read the notes that your professor might have noted on the side for you. This helps you understand what you did wrong, how to improve it, and in some ways, it helps you prepare for the next exam.
- It’s the end of the semester and you receive your class grade. Let’s say you did exceptionally well the second time around. You received a A in the class. That’s excellent for you, but once you soak it all in, try to help out your peers that might be in the same situation as you were before. If you received a C- or an F in the class, seek a tutoring session with your professor, peers, or at your school’s tutoring center! Organize your notes. Practice, practice, and practice. Form study groups. Attend your classes and pay attention to the professor. You can also try to look for online resources that may help you understand the material better. You can try checking out khanacademy or Paul’s Notes (for areas in mathematics).
- Again, don’t let a failing grade get the best of you. It happens to everyone at least once in their life.